Charlie Brown proved, in 1965, that the perfect Christmas tree doesn’t have to be flawless: He took a sprig of Scotch pine, gave it a little love, and voila!
We don’t claim it’s that easy to create a shimmering showpiece, but we do promise that choosing a tree will be the stuff of memories. Here's some information to help you choose the best tree for your family.
A version of this article appeared in our December 2012 issue with the headline "Holiday Planner: Choose the perfect tree," p.10.
With its flat, round-tipped needles and dark green colour, the Balsam Fir has a nice shape and smell, and the soft wood is ideal for hanging lighter ornaments (like the egg carton bells and paper angel crafts brought home from school).
The Scotch pine delivers on all fronts: It retains its dark green needles well, has branches stiff enough for heavier ornaments, and is worth the nostalgia alone.
The long, soft needles make for painless decorating for everyone.
What this tree lacks in accessibility, it makes up for in beauty.
While the shape and the bluish-grey or silvery colour will charm you, the needles are very rigid and sharp — probably best for big kids who will take heed.
This is the popular kid on the tree farm. The short, soft needles keep their dark blue-green colour and remain on the tree longer than other varieties (so there will be fewer needles on the floor to tempt toddlers).
It also has that Christmas-y aroma.
If your family boasts an extensive ornament collection, this one’s for you.
The white spruce has strong branches, and the blue-green colour of the short needles is just what you’d expect of a classic Christmas tree.
A favourite Christmas tree selection since the 1920s, the Douglas fir has a serious, full presence — its mid-length needles are dark green and radiate out in all directions.
Because of its fullness, it may not be the best choice for small spaces.